Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Version of the Run for Donna Half Marathon

Happy Valentine's Day!! Confession: I wrote this post on Monday, but am just posting today! So, it was Valentine's Day when I wrote it . . .

This weekend, Penny and I took a little road trip to Jacksonville to see Stephanie and run the "26.2 with Donna Run: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer". It was a crazy week leading up but I was insanely excited for a little weekend getaway with Penny! We always have so much fun. We had so much fun at Apalachicola (fun times despite the horrible race conditions) and I couldn't wait to see what this weekend had in store!

So, we set off on Saturday morning and drove almost four hours over to JAX. We had a fun car ride - talking about boys, running, hydrating, taking silly pictures and of course singing some Taylor Swift! :)

We did the typical pre-race routine: went to the Expo and bought some insanely expensive sparkly sweaty bands, ate some frozen yogurt, carb loaded, laughed a lot, got everything ready (including a dunkin donuts trip for our AM coffee and Publix trip for more carb loading via chocolate chip cookies) and got into bed pretty early.

We woke up at 4:40AM, got dressed and were on our way to the shuttles by 5:40.

We waited in the freezing cold (38 degrees) for about 20 minutes when we realized that if we stayed in line, we'd not get to the start in time. The line was NOT moving and we were hundreds of people back (at least five or six busses back). So, we decided to take our chances. Stephanie knew the area very well and the closest we could park to the start was about 1.5 miles away. Since Penny was running the FULL and we were running the half, we decided to drop Penny off at the start and then jog to the start. An almost two mile warm up later and Stephanie and I arrived at the start with about fifteen minutes to spare! Whew!

Let's back track a little, though . . . As my coach would say, I've been in half marathon frenzy mode since the end of November (I may or may not have two more scheduled in the next five weeks). He didn't want me to race this since I just ran Clearwater three weeks ago and have Gasparilla in two weeks. So, I never signed up! I couldn't; however, not go! I'd already been planning the trip with Penny. Besides, I'm her #1 fan! :) So, I went. My schedule for the weekend said "8 miles easy, 6 at 7:30 pace)." Yes, in my head I had already done that math . . . very close to the half marathon distance. But, I was pretty adament about squeezing my long run in around being a spectator.

Until Friday when I got the following text message ...

Friday (4:46PM) Stephanie - Do you want a bib? I have a friend not running who isn't using hers.
Me (4:57PM) - Oh! Oh! That may be nice. Is she selling it or just giving it away?
Stephanie (4:58PM) - Just giving it away.

The conversation continued and I found that I could basically run my long run during the half ... My coach just said not to race. He had 14 miles on my schedule. I could always "run" the half and not "race" it, right?

So, I ran it!

And, I loved it!

No pressure! I just tried to keep my pace relatively "easy" and treat it like a long run! I even took a 1:42 second bathroom break at mile 4.88. Racer Jaime would never do that! :)Miles 6 and 7 were on the beach! It was absolutely breathtaking!! I even teared up a couple of times from all of the signs that were held by survivors!

For all of you analyzers out there, here were the stats to my "long run."

:41 (.11) - 6:04 pace

So, I was kind of all over the place. But, I kept it "easy." When I wanted to slow down, I let myself. I even let myself slow down during miles 11 and 12. But, when I got to the point where I had 1.1 to go, I just couldn't help myself. I saw all of these people in front of me and I wanted to see how many I could pass before the finish line. Let's just say, it was quite a few ;) I love finishing strong.

Total time per Garmin: 1:45:29 (8:03 average pace)

Unoffical Results (remember I took a bathroom break): 1:47:11

It's a "long run." To compare "apples to apples" in my training log, I have to log it as a 1:45:29 :)

So, that was my weekend . . . How was yours??

PS: I don't usually post twice in one day because I like getting comments on ALL of my posts ... so, don't forget to scroll down and read about my track workout this AM!! :)


  1. what a great weekend! love that you guys rocked out to t.swift. and that you were able to take this as an easy run. with a great finish of course :)

  2. I love Taylor Swift! Nice job keeping it a run and not racing...

  3. Nice event to be able to sneak in a long run and good job sticking to a moderate pace. Glad you were able to enjoy the weekend and road trip!! 26.2 with Donna holds a special place in my heart and if scheduling works out I hope to run the event myself in 2012 or 2013 or both years. I'm glad to see you were able to feel the emotion of such a special race. Sooooo you are running Gasparilla!!! SWEET!!! I was going to run this year but decided to scratch it from my schedule because my wife and I our expecting our fourth child in April and I'm behind in prepping the home so I think my racing will be over until September since I want time with the new baby and I don't race, just train in the summer. Well enough about me, nice job at 26.2 with Donna and best wishes at Gasparilla!!! I see a PR on the horizon!! :-]I hope to be a spectator at Gasparilla.

  4. you know training is going well when 8:03 is easy. great job! glad it was a fun run~

  5. YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I love that you found out about it in the morning. I want to run a race with you the pre-race rituals. YOU ARE GORGEOUS!!!

  6. Wow, what a great weekend you have. Mine was boring because I am playing nurse to my 75 yo aunt. Your stats are amazing! I hope i could have some of that fabulous pre-run routine of yours.